Ask The Expert

“Angela, what’s your opinion about publishers and authors hiring ‘sensitivity readers?'”

“Angela, what’s your opinion about publishers and authors hiring ‘sensitivity readers?'”

The practice of hiring "sensitivity readers" is absolutely RIDICULOUS! Books are supposed to challenge readers' thinking. They not only entertain readers, but also disturb, offend, spur people to action, expand our thinking, teach us about things, people, and societies that we would otherwise never be exposed to, and so much more! This is pre-publication censorship, plain and simple...…

When a Vanity Publisher…Pretends To Be Traditional

When a Vanity Publisher…Pretends To Be Traditional

I have been offered a contract by a regular publisher but, because I am not a known author, they want me to commit to purchasing copies up front for a total of $4200. I realize that they want to get all of their costs back up front but that seems kind of high to me. What do you think?…

“Are print book sales really making a comeback?” Yep!

“Are print book sales really making a comeback?” Yep!

"Physical book sales have rocketed by four million this year, fighting back against the digital revolution. Predictions, a few years ago, that the printed book would die appear to have been greatly exaggerated."…

DIY Publishing Services – Are Any of Them Really “Free?”

DIY Publishing Services – Are Any of Them Really “Free?”

I see your claim that it is less expensive to publish with BookLocker than with CreateSpace and I don't understand why you think so. All over the Internet, information about CreateSpace makes authors think their services are free. Their homepage even says "free." What gives?…

“Where can I find a list of writing contests?”

“Where can I find a list of writing contests?”

Could you suggest books, websites, etc. that have real poetry contests? Not the type that publish your poem and then want you to pay $100 for a copy. Also, where can I find lists of magazines that pay you for poems?…

“Can I Use Somebody Else’s Photo/Artwork if I Flip it Horizontally?”

“Can I Use Somebody Else’s Photo/Artwork if I Flip it Horizontally?”

I am still working to get my illustrations for my book. Can you advise on something I was told by my illustrator? She told me that most photos copied from the Internet can be flipped horizontally to alleviate concerns of copyright infringement. For example if a mountain appears on the left side of the photograph, flip the photo so the mountain is on the right side. I also wonder if applying artistic effects to a photo (pencil sketch, smooth pastel, etc.) would eliminate concern of issues. I was given five websites for Royalty Free photos and images that are free of charge. Do you have any recommendations for me?…

Hmmm… Should I Sign Up for “Amazon Giveaway” to Promote My Book?

Hmmm… Should I Sign Up for “Amazon Giveaway” to Promote My Book?

According to a website: "Creating a book giveaway function does nothing but increase you and your book's visibilities. Meaning that it is very necessary. Amazon has created a book-giveaway-channel that would allow authors to create reading contests, and choose their winner(s)."…

How Much Should I Pay a Book Illustrator?

How Much Should I Pay a Book Illustrator?

Different illustrators charge different rates. The prices are all over the board. I definitely recommend having a work-for-hire contract so you'll own all rights to the artwork in your book - forever. You need to be able to use that artwork not only in the book, but also in marketing and, if the book takes off, you'll want to be able to use it when creating related products in the future as well. You don't want to have to pay additional fees each time you want to use artwork that you paid the illustrator to create. Of course, you may need to pay a bit more up front but it will be worth if you can use it freely in the future.…

“I’m too embarrassed to self-publish!” vs. “I’ll never sign another traditional publishing contract!”

“I’m too embarrassed to self-publish!” vs. “I’ll never sign another traditional publishing contract!”

Contrary to popular author assumptions, self-publishing no longer hurts your chances of landing a traditional contract. In fact, if you can prove impressive sales of your self-published book, your chances of landing a traditional contract are greatly increased. Fifty Shades of Grey is one example. It was a successful self-published book and look what happened after a traditional publisher discovered it!…

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